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When You Shouldn't Take the Swiss by Their Word

Swiss German is a funny language. Not only are there certain sounds that seem strange to the foreign ear, e.g. the famous "ch" in Chuchichäschtli or these Swiss German tongue twisters, but there are also quite a few interesting phrases, especially in Swiss German slang.

With "interesting" I mean that they seem funny or humorous when considering the literal meaning. A good example of this in English would be "to chicken out" which at first seems funny to non-native speakers.

When You Shouldn't Take the Swiss by Their Literal Word

I collected a few examples of such funny literal meanings of Swiss German phrases.
  • de Baum azünde (lit. to set fire to the tree, to light the Christmas tree)
  • aschiisse (lit. to shit at, to be mad or annoyed)
  • zämeschiisse (lit. to shit together, to scold someone)
  • umefurze (lit. to fart around, to dawdle or dally)
  • verarsche (lit. to ass (someone), to fool someone)
  • es chüblet (lit. it buckets, it rains heavily)
  • es pisst (lit. it pees, it rains heavily)
  • verpisse (lit. to pee away, to cut off or run away)
  • Ohrfiige (lit. ear fig, smack on the ear)
  • Chruut und Rüebli (lit. cabbage and carrots, a random mix of things or deeds)
  • sauglatt (lit. pig smooth, very funny or very slippery)

Now, I don't know if pigs are really smooth but then it doesn't really matter, does it?! Obviously, it's impossible to put together a conclusive list of those expressions even though that would be a great project. Nevertheless, if you have funny or humorous additions to this list, please share them with me!

sauglatt - /



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